GangLand Kenya : Angola-Msumbiji Gang

Angola-Msumbiji was formed in the 70s as a criminal gang, by young people mainly from Bunyore, Kisa, Marama, Idakho, Isukha, Butsotso, and Wanga communities in Vihiga and Kakamega districts [of Kenya]. They came together to mainly have a strong gang that would target business people with impunity. They would warn their would-be victims of their intended raid [that] would subsequently be executed without fail and with ruthlessness, especially if the victims had shown signs of resistance. They would go to the extent of seriously maiming people with machetes in the course of their well-calculated incursions.

In the late 70s and 80s, politicians from the western province succumbed to the temptation of using the well-organized goons to unleash terror on their opponents. The gangs would carry out the job according to the “contract” for a fee. They slowly became thugs-for-hire and they would be at the service of the politician who would pay them a good amount to do anything – literally.

Later the local business people and politicians found other uses for them. They would be used to repulse the Kalenjin warriors who would attack the Luhyas during an outbreak of ethnic clashes in the 80’s. Both sides suffered heavy casualties as a result of the fierce clashes.

Activities started dying out in the late 80s and early 90s mainly due to police crackdown of the militia group and reluctance of the young people to be conscripted into the gang. At around the same time, some copycat ragtag gangs of thieves managed to create confusion about the real identity of the original group, which demystified them. In peoples’ minds the group had disintegrated and a few managed to resist blackmail successfully.

[Until] now, the name “Angola-Msumbiji” is still in use but by a few thugs who still engage in robbing people in the area, albeit in a much lower scale. Some of them are mere petty thieves who just steal to get basic needs (2 Dec. 2002).

I remember as tot the feared msumbiji gang . As a luhya , i remember the gang being cheered a lot especially those sides of kaimosi and kakamega forest where the luhya border the kales.The kalenjin wanted to grab land and push the usually peaceful luhyas away. Hao maninja helped people get their land back. They were financed by a wealthy businessman .


asande sana for the info , bt u did not tell us where the name “Angola-Msumbiji” came from

I guess they got motivation from the civil war that were going in Angola and Mozambique during that time… Akina unita, savimbi

si useme tu Ambwere iko nini?


if you may recall the Angolan and Mozambican wars of independence from the Portuguese were raging in the seventies to early eighties. As a result the names UNITA and MPLA rebels in respect of Angola and Frelimo in Mozambique were always in the news - remember there were only KBC swahili and General services and the heroics of the rebels took the fancy of many young men around Afirika…

Poa early man…was this the same gang that was being used in the tobacco wars in Western

:)all i can say is that tobacco “wars” were mchezo

Gashui unasema wewe Ni subject matter ya Dr leakey:D:D

i don’t like sweating small stuff…like ktalk jibes:)

Waa memories. My grandpa was a very successful businessman back then (among first Luhyias to own matatus and lorries in the 70s) so he was in the thick of things. He was a target but the then PC (must have been Haji or Makhanu) ensured we were safe. Every morning he would go to places like Lukume to collect the injured awapeleke kakamega hosi ama kwa maleche. watu walikua wanakatwa na panga wacha tu…i was less than 10 but i was so scared of that name


Given my understanding of western msumbiji would never operate in bukusu(malakisi) or teso land. That’s where tobacco is grown

Kwa Maleche Highway hospital. That advanced notice thing was the bomn then wanakuja na mawe ya 9 by 9 kubomoa mlango

By the way @mikel Dr. Maleche bado yuko?

I think so but i will have to check with my grandpa. stori ya musumbichi imenikumbusha mbali sana, kwani wewe ni wa ingo pia?

No I just know afew people there and some fond memories